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pretty much split down the middle in the country. 50/50. >> also today you have that trial in connecticut of the two men who, well, this is the second of the perpetrators, the accused perpetrators of that petite family. it is harder to talk about the moral hurdles to the death penalty when you see cases like that. troy davis case, though, is something that people have looked to to one of those cases that, should this be the death penalty? >> when you look at the polls, split two-thirds of americans believe in the death penalty. this is according to a gallup poll, but when you factor in life without parole, that goes to 50/50. >> this conversation, particularly one about troy davis will continue in the cnn newsroom. we'll head it over right now to kyra phillips. >> thanks so much. locked up by iran for two years. two american hikers are finally free. that's what tops our hour this
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morning. shane bauer and josh fattal convicted of spying and entering the country wasted no time leaving it as soon as they were officially bailed out. mohammed jamjoom joining us with the latest. mo? >> well, carol, we heard from u.s. official that josh fattal and shane bauer have been released from a prison there, but we're also hearing they're still in the prison. our sources in iran say they don't actually know if they left evin prison yet. imany official a a ay officials make sure they are free. released a statement by press tv that their detention sentence has been commuted and they have been released on bail, a lot of speculation is once they are released, they will head to iman. . the reason there is that speculation is it played a part
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in securing the release of sarah shourd, the third american hiker who was released last september. om omani government officials aren't confirming this. they did go into the prison earlier today and we're awaiting word when and if they will leave the country and in fact, they will be headed to muscat, oman. >> if you wanted to look at the politics behind all that and look at the relationship between oman and the u.s. mohammed, are you still connected with me? all right, we've lost connection with jamjoom, apologize for that. we'll be talking more about this incredible day for the fattal and bauer families and also for sarah shourd, the third hiker that was released over a year ago because of health concerns. susan candiotti has spent time
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with those families over the last couple of years and she joins us now live from new york. susan? >> hi, kyra. of course, the families, too, are waiting for official word that shane and josh have left the prison. as mohammed has reported, certainly we have word, officially, that the paperwork has been signed. that their sentences have been wiped away. that they are allowed to leave, you know, commuted sentences and that they will be allowed to leave the prison. of course, we're standing by for a visual verification that they actually, physically, left the building. so, the families, as we know, have been waiting in oman for more than a week ever since the president of iran, mahmoud ahmadinejad said that they would be released in a couple of days. it has been a very long and anxious wait for them. the expectation is that they will be transferred on a plane, just as sarah was, just over a year ago, over to oman, where there will be hugs and a reunion there. it is possible that josh and
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shane will say a few words in oman before leaving as soon as possible for the united states. the last time, because of the u.n. general assembly, they were unable to get a direct flight to new york. of course, the route isn't known for sure, but the expectation is they will try to make it to new york via washington, d.c. it's unclear at this point. and, hopefully, would have some public words to say just as sarah did the last time. kyra? >> susan candiotti there out of new york for us. susan, thanks. and one hour from now, president obama faces a high-stakes test of diplomacy. he's going to stand before the united nations and face two very different audiences. one, the international community on edge over u.s. efforts to block palestinian membership. the other, his republican challengers ready to pounce on any hint he's backing away from israel.
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brianna keilar live at the white house. how careful do you think the administration is being in trying to achieve the right balance here? >> overall in the actions the administrations have taken over months, you could argue that they tried to have a balance there. but if you look, kyra, at the president's actions in new york, what we're expecting him to say before the u.n. general assembly today, if you look at those things in isolation, this is not walking a very fine line. this is the president coming down firmly on the side of israel to say that this is not the venue for the palestinians to seek statehood and it's also the president coming down firmly on the side of a very important democratic voting and donor block. that, of course, being jewish americans and he has a lot of ground to make up here because he's made this community unhappy with some of his actions. you had in may, he called for the pre-1967 borders of israel to be the starting point for negotiation business between palestinians and israelis and angered many israelis and
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angered many jewish americans and there's been tension between president obama and prime minister netanyahu. top that off with the recent special election in new york. this was anthony weiner's former seat, chuck schumer's former seat. a large jewish american population and for the last time in almost a century, this district elected a republican. there's a lot of concern in the administration that they have lost ground with jewish americans, a constituency they cannot afford to lose as the president heads into a bruising re-election battle, kyra. >> brianna keilar at the white house, let's continue the conversation and head to the united nations now. that's where we'll find senior correspondent richard roth. president obama receiving a warm welcome. his first two years there. so, how much do you think that has changed this year? >> well, i think the arab spring fever that broke out has changed
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a little bit of the dynamics in the world. president obama had called in various speeches in the middle east and else where for more democra democracy. i don't think there's more opposition to president obama. some frustration with the continuing wars, but there's a lot of developments going on and a lot of issues going on inside the general assembly right now. moon has convened this 66th general session. a few speakers away the u.s. president, barack obama. now, obama is going to meet with prime minister netanyahu of israel and also palestinian president abbas. these will be individual meetings, not the type of direct face-to-face negotiations the united states wants. instead of what abbas wants, come is a formal application for statehood which he plans to submit after his speech on friday. the u.s. awaits with a veto there. there's a lot more negotiating and a lot of maneuvering still to come. there won't be instant statehood following this general assembly
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session, kyra. >> richard roth there from the u.n., thanks. we'll talk about it throughout the morning. in the middle east, the impassioned debate over palestinian statehood has ignited a number of flair ups. you see here it was those settlements that helped paralyze the peace talks with israel more than a year ago. palestinian authority has called for mass demonstrations and thousands of people held rallies in major cities and towns already across the region. for the most part, they have been peaceful. live coverage of president obama's speech to the u.n. general assembly. scheduled to begin less than an hour from now. 10:00 eastern. we will take it live. denied clemency. troy davis has less than ten hours to live now. they're outraged that the execution is going to go ahead, despite questions raised about the case. our david mattingly discussed that with the prosecutor that convicted davis of killing a police officer.
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>> stand up and testify. we won't let troy davis die. >> reporter: their last means of legal recourse seemingly exhausted. there may be little more for troy davis supporters to do but shout their frustrations and pray. >> stand up and testify. >> reporter: meanwhile, the prosecutor who sent davis to death row for the murder of savannah police officer, mark macphail, broke years of silence, calling the campaign to save davis unfair and unjust. >> we have felt that we were ethically downed to maintain our silence and express our opinions and judgments on the facts in court, which is where we have and every place where we have, we won. >> reporter: now retired, former d.a. spencer lawton believes his witnesses who testified against davis 20 years ago and later changed their stories or recanted did so under pressure from davis' supporters.
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and failed to appear credible, he says, in the eyes of the court. >> it has been a game of delay throughout. the longer the delay, the more time they have to create not doubt, not honest doubt, not real doubt, but the appearance of doubt. >> reporter: the georgia board of pardons and parole, again, refused to stop davis' execution, saying its decision was based on the totality of the information presented in this case. davis supporters say race was a factor. >> this is jim crowe in a new era. there's just too much doubt for this execution to continue. >> reporter: this is davis' fourth appointment with execution, another last-minute delay seems far less likely this time. families of davis and officer macphail both prepare for the end. >> it's like reliving a nightmare over and over. but the thing about it is, we have to stay strong in our faith. >> we have lived this for 22
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years. we know what the truth is. and for someone to ludicroew lu say he is a victim. we are victims. look at us. we have put up with this stuff for 22 years and it is time for justice today. all right, breaking news to bring you now. we want to take you to iran, you know, they were locked up for two years. two american hikers. josh fattal and shane bauer convicted of spying, illegally entering the country. well, they now are going to be free any moment now. as we have reported, $500,000 bail for each one of them. our cnn producer is right there outside the prison where those american hikers are about to walk out. shirzad, we were wondering when this was going to happen. do you see them? do you expect them to step out at any moment?
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>> the lawyer just came out of the prison and he said that he has done all the formalities taking care of them and all that was expected of him and i asked the authorities when they would be released and he said four or five minutes. it has been five minutes, but they haven't been released yet. the authorities said very soon they will be released. the ambassador is here and the lawyer sitting next in the car and they're talking and we can't hear what they're saying. lots of reporters around and we just have to wait and see when they will come. we expect them to be released into the custody and that's why they're hanging around their car and when they're in the car, hopefully get a word out of them before they leave. >> who did you say is waiting to pick them up? who is in the car? who will be taking them? >> this is what we're led to believe by the prison authorities that says the prison car will bring the two americans
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and release them in the custody of the system. and the ambassador also confirmed it and said in the interest of the united states here, they will be released and then facilitate whatever they need to do. not concerned whether they're going to go to omen or whatever, i can't tell you yet. but we're hoping after they're released maybe we can get a word out of them and find out where the two americans are going to be heading soon. and when. >> and shirzad we know you are outside iran's most notorious prison where these two americans are about to walk out of. if you don't mind staying with us on the line and as soon as you see them, as soon as you can get more information just let us know.
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but, let's keep chatting, if you don't mind, for a minute. i just want to bring our viewers up to date right now. breaking news. we have been telling you about the two american hikers. josh fattal and shane bauer. they were convicted of spying and illegally entering the country two years ago. and now we are being told that $1 million in bail has been submitted. $500,000 each. so, these two can walk free. and our cnn producer shirzad is right there outside of iran's most notorious prison where they have been held. as soon as you see them, we'll keep you up live, keep connections with you. zain verjee, i know we were going to talk about a totally different story with you out of london, but i would like to get you to weigh in on this because you have been talking about this since yesterday when we got word they were going to walk free. what do you know about this prison and how this might
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unfold? you heard shirzad is there waiting for them and then the question is, where will they go next? our sources telling us, possibly oman. >> evin prison is one of the most notorious prisons in iran. as what could happen next, they're likely to go to a third country. reports that they would go to muscat in omen. i spoke to a source there a short while ago that confirmed to me, that would be the case. they were already on alert to pick up the two americans. that the families have been there for a while. also what would likely happen is that they would stay for medical checkups to make sure that they were okay. the source i spoke to indicated, too, that they would stay there overnight and then just get back to the u.s. as soon as possible. it's likely, i was told, too, that they would just fly on a commercial plane from iran to oman and all that was being
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waited for was which air strip they were going to land on and then things would happen from there. but, again, it's unclear how quickly this would happen. but if the previous person that was in evin prison as part of this group, sarah shourd she was released almost immediately and ended up in omen and ended up home very, very quick. >> zain verjee live for us out of london, thanks. just outside that prison in tehran waiting for those two american hikers that will finally be set free. they are supposed to walk out of that prison any minute now. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back. not white collar or blue collar or no collars. we are business in america. and every day we awake to the same challenges. but at prudential we're helping companies everywhere find new solutions to manage risk, capital and employee benefits,
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we're now being told those prison cars are pulling up to that prison in iran. the evin prison there where the two american hikers are about to be set free. let's take you back quickly to our cnn producer shirzad who is right over there. what can you tell us? >> the car carrying them is
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about to go up there. looks like they're beginning to go over to the gate and get them out. let's see what happens. going through the security check right now. >> okay. pa >> past the security check and going up the hill to go to the prison gate. >> they've gone through security and they are headed up to the gate. how long do you think it will take for them to retrieve the two american hikers? >> the ambassador at the checkpoint now. walking up the hill.
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>> can you see the hikers yet? >> no, not yet. the cars are, the two cars -- we don't know if he's going to bring them out or the ambassador is going to go in and bring them out. >> what's the conversation like there at the gate, shirzad? >> excuse me. >> what is the conversation going on at the gate? >> someone has overheard the prison authority saying the two arma -- >> let's go ahead and set the scene for our viewers. if you're just tuning in to cnn, breaking news now.
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>> it's 2:00 p.m. iran time. waiting outside evin prison gates. the lawyer came in about two hours ago, went inside and handed over the documents and the proof that they had been paid and been in there for over an hour and a half and went straight to this ambassador's car and before he went in, he said that prison authorities have told them everything is okay and prisoners will be released in five minutes. has already been 15 minutes. but the cars have gone past checkpoint and inside the prison and hoping they will be coming out soon with the two american hikers. >> okay, shirzad. we'll keep the phone lines hot and you let us know as soon as you see josh fattal and shane ba auer.
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the two american hikers about to be free. we're going to bring it to you live as soon as it happens. shirzad, let us know. we'll take a quick break. [ male announcer ] this is coach parker... whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪ today i own 165 wendy's restaurants. and i get my financing from ge capital. but i also get stuff that goes way beyond banking. we not only lend people money, we help them save it. [ junior ] ge engineers found ways to cut my energy use.
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we continue our breaking news coverage, possibly minutes even seconds away those two american hikers about to walk out of iran's most notorious prison, the evin prison. our sharzad has been giving us a
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minute-by-minute play. about to be set free after $1 million bail. shirzad, anything else you can tell us? >> the checkpoint for the police motorcycle escort has gone up to the gate, supposedly to wait for the irani cars to come out and hopefully take a look at it and make sure they are in the cars, if they bring them out of this gate. but usually or sometimes they take them out of the back door and without anybody seeing them. that's what happened last time. but we have no choice but to wait here at the main gate. >> obviously, this is an important story for us because they are two americans, but i'm curious, has there been any kind of reaction so far in the
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iranian media, shirzad? >> very little. they carried the news that they had been accepted and paid and that was the end of it. and it's been approved and that's about it. they didn't make a big splash, but it was mentioned in the news. >> so, shirzad, do we know if josh and shane were kept together or in solentary confinement? >> i have no idea. >> okay. shirzad, please, stay with us. stay on the line with us. we want to continue following this story. if you're just tuning in and you are waiting for special coverage oof the president's speech, hold on. we are minutes away from that. but, just to keep you updated. the two american hikers, josh fattal and shane bauer who were convicted of spying and
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illegally entering the country are about to be free from iran's ev evin prison. the bail has been paid and we're right there outside the prison at the gates. our shirzad reporting to us. the swiss ambassador, two cars have gone through the gates waiting to get the two american hikers inside their cars. as soon as that happens, it will be any minute now. okay, let's take it to new york now where our wolf blitzer and the best political team on television will set the stage for the president's comments about palestinian statehood. just after the break, our wolf blitzer and special coverage of the president's speech, next. when an investment lacks discipline, it's never this obvious. introducing investment discipline etfs from russell.
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good morn, i'm wolf blitzer in new york. we want to welcome you to our special coverage of president obama's special address to the united nations. we want to emphasize just how extraordinary and how diplomatically delicate this speech by the president of the united states will be. he will face different audiences, several different audiences. one, of course, the international community. it's on edge right now over u.s. efforts to block full palestinian membership in the united nations. another audience he faces republican challengers for the white house. they are ready to pounce at any hint that he might be backing away from supporting israel. this morning we've brought together an all-star panel, including our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin over at the united nations. the former assistant secretary of state james reuben, he is here in new york. former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., he's in washington and our senior political analyst david gergen is here with me in new york.
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here's a look at the big week ahead. the general assembly of the united nations will hear from iran and the united kingdom tomorrow. friday, the palestinian leadership expected to make its case. israel will have an opportunity to respond on friday, as well. we'll also hear from greece, which, of course, is dealing with a huge financial crisis right now. it's rippling throughout europe, indeed, throughout the middle east. so, a lot happening right now. we're also, by the way, following another developing story breaking news happening right now. two american hikers go free after two years in iran's most notorious prison. the men were convicted of espionage earlier this year. but a million dollars bail has now secured their release. we're continuing to monitor the situation. we'll bring it to you live as we get more developments. but both of these hikers josh fattal, shane bauer have been freed and they are getting ready to fly to oman and reunite with their family and fly back to the
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united states. much more on this story coming up. but let's set the stage before the president obama's important state to the general assembly. jessica yellin outside the u.n. right now. this is a hugely important speech for the president and a diplomatic tight rope. >> it is, wolf. he will be addressing a broad sweep of the issues. he will address the u.s. draw down of troops in iraq and afghanistan. the u.s. killing of osama bin laden and u.s. effort to shore up the global economy. but the main focus of this speech will be the sweeping dramatic changes in the middle east and north africa since he last appeared here at the u.n. a year ago. in egypt, tunisia and especially in libya. libya the administration sees as an example of the kind of international cooperation the president will argue that can lead to positive regime change. and that will be a theme that he will underscore in this speech. of course, wolf, we all know
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looming over all of this is the palestinian quest for statehood as they make a play for that here at the united nations and the president will make an effort to juxtapose that with what happened in a sense in libya and make the case that the u.s. believes in a palestinian state, but we'll explain why he does not believe that the place for that is not here at the united nations. he will argue that the place to make a play for, that the best way to do this is to negotiate peace between israel and palestine over the negotiating table and that he thinks this is the most effective way to achieve stability, not just there, but throughout the entire region. as you say, a very delicate dance and i'm told, wolf, this speech will last for about 35 minutes. >> we have a speech expected to start right at the top of the hour. jessica, the president will also have separate meetings with the israeli and the palestinian leaders who are in new york.
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those meetings, i think, are set for today. is that right? >> that is right. he has a meeting around 11:00 a.m. with benjamin netanyahu, the leader of israel. and then this evening around 6:00 with the palestinian leader mahmoud abbas. we're told these are not efforts to head off the palestinian effort to make a play for statehood here at the united nations, but in effect, to look ahead at what happens next and to make sure that relationships are strong and discussions are ongoing so that after the u.n. general assembly is over, the united states and both parties can continue their discussions to try to bring both parties back to the negotiation table regardless of what happens here at the u.n., wolf. >> i know you've been briefed by top u.s. officials, jessica. i don't know if this has come up, but is there any chance at all, as remote it may sound of a three-way meeting involving president obama, prime minister netanyahu and president abbas?
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>> so far we have had absolutely no indication that that would happen, wolf. we're told schedules could always change, but zero indication that that's going to happen. i would not hold your breath. >> that would be remote. that would be dramatic, but unlikely as you point out. jessica, don't go too far away. we have experts here watching what's going on, as well, including jamie reuben, the former ambassador to the u.n. and david gergen, our senior political analyst and adviser to four u.s. presidents. jamie reuben, i'll start with you. what is going to happen here this week? it looks potentially like it could be a huge disaster, not only for the parties in the middle east, but for the u.s., if the u.s. is forced to actually use its veto at the u.n. security council and block this palestinian state resolution. >> well, yes. nothing good for the united states expected in the next week or two.
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the key question is whether the united states can muster enough votes in the security council to avoid having a veto, if the palestinians push this to an actual vote. you need nine votes to pass a resolution. if the palestinian side got those nine votes, the u.s. would voto. so, i think that's one aspect of the president's efforts. the second thing i think, it's crucial in the meetings with the palestinians and israelis that after this is over they don't take self-defeating actions. he will be urging president abbas to make clear to his people that even if they get some positive vote in the general assembly, that he would say publicly that they recognize that actual statehood, the actual implementation of this can only happen at the negoti e negotiating table and telling the israelis that as much as this will make them feel isolated, such a vote or such an
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action, that they shouldn't cut off ties with those palestinian security services. the israeli defense forces work with to protect the israeli people. so, don't cut your ties with abbas just because you don't like the outcome of this vote. >> ambassador, some u.s. officials have suggested to me that their best hope right now is to convince the palestinian leader, president mahmoud abbas, to let it go to the united nations security council as some sort of resolution, but then to table that resolution for all practical purposes, not have any formal vote for weeks, if not months. and see if they could resume the peace process in the meantime. is that at all likely given the stakes involved? >> i think it depends on what we are able to do in terms of either having a number of countries on the council supporting that effort so that if they push for a vote, if the palestinians push for a vote,
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they do not have the nine votes or if we get some agreement with the palestinians and israelis about some initiative that could start right away and, therefore, the vote on the statehood and the security council could be put on hold. i think it's very much depends on our diplomacy in the coming few days. i think we need to work with our friends on the security council. perhaps maybe work on some language changes in the text that could also provide room for negotiations that will take much longer in the next couple of weeks. or see what you can achieve, what we can get between israelis and palestinians that can lead for palestinians to delay this. i think we ought to be working both the security council side and the bilateral palestinian/israeli side. >> david gergen, if it weren't
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complicated enough, further complicating all of this is a presidential election next year here in the united states. all of a sudden, this is a hot, political issue facing the president. >> the republican candidates jumped into this yesterday, wolf. mitt romney saying that the president has been throwing israel under the bus. rick perry coming out even harder and harsher and his condco condemination and both saying they have failed. the president find himself on two chess boards today. one is the domestic one, where he is in danger of ail yinating a lot of the jewish community. losing or splitting the jewish vote in 2012 and that could hurt him at some key congressional districts. we just saw this district of new york a lot of jewish that that seat for the first time since 1963 went to republicans. the president is in a situation where he not only needs to make sure abbas doesn't do the right thing, but he doesn't want to walk away from israeli
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supporters here at home. that's not even to talk about the international chess board which is quite complex. >> you worked that united nations for quite a while, jamie. assuming they table it and they don't have a formal vote, there could still be a separate vote in the general assembly and an overwhelming majority who would vote for a palestinian state, but would that do the job? would that provide the palestinians with full state membership at the u.n.? >> no, it wouldn't, wolf. but it might be sufficient to justify moving on. in other words, the palestinians feel like they've been on the losing end for years and years and years and in many respects, this is a final act of desperation by president abbas. going to the security council, i think he knows, everybody knows, is not going to yield statehood for the palestinians. the u.s. has made clear it will veto it. they may not even get nine
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votes. if they took this to the general assembly, which they can do, which you mentioned, and won an overwhelming victory for what is called enhanced observer status, meaning upgrading their ability to participate in international organizations in the international criminal court and other institutions and did it in a large victory, in a political victory for the palestinians, that might be enough for them to allow the u.n. security council vote to be set aside for possibly being picked up at some later date and avoiding, what the united states desperately want to avoid, actually having to wield its veto and destroy much of the good will that president obama has been trying to build in the middle east. >> veto at the u.n. security council could spark anti-american feelings in much of the arab and muslim world. that's a deep concern by top
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u.s. officials. everyone stand by, we're awaiting the president of the united states getting ready to address the united nations general assembly. this is a live picture of the u.n. right now, probably around the top of the hour, the president will begin his speech. as you heard from jessica yellin, he'll speak for half an hour, maybe a little bit more. when we come back, we'll come back with a key member of the united states congress who says the united nations needs to make serious reforms right now or and she is warning, she is the chair of the foreign affairs committee, the u.s. needs to start thinking serious about cutting its funding to the united nations. much more of the breaking news coverage coming up right here in the cnn newsroom.
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brazilian leader speaking right now. she is speaking and immediately after she completes her remarks, the president of the united states, the host country, the
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united states of the united nations, president obama, will speak. we expect that to begin in about 15 minutes or so. we'll, of course, have live coverage of the president's draes. he's expected to speak about several issues, including the very tense situation in the middle east that's unfolding right now. i want to bring in congresswoman chair of the house foreign affairs committee. watching the united nations very closely. congressman, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> before i get to an issue that is very close to your heart, u.s. funding for the united nations, what about funding for the palestinian authority? i know there is a huge debate in congress right now about potentially having the united states eliminate or cut dramatically u.s. assistance to the palestinians on the west bank. where do you stand on that? >> i stand very clearly on the side that says the u.s. assistance to the palestinians in any form should be cut off because look at the provocative actions that the palestinians
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are taking in the united nations and that's just indicative of the provocative actions they take against the israel every day. israel wants a partner for peace and until the palestinians are willing to sit down and negotiate a two-state solution with israel, why should u.s. taxpayer money keep funding the palestinians when they are not doing anything to advance the peace process? we can use the money in better ways and we're talking millions of dollars that u.s. taxpayers are contributing to the palestinians. let other nations take up the slack. we can foster a peace process with israel in a better way. >> because i've heard many top israelis say this money is very important from israel's perspective because it strengthens the palestinian security services of the west bank who are cooperating with the israeli military and the israeli security services themselves. they fear if that money went away, that would further
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antagonize the palestinians and make them even more resistance to cooperation with the israelis. >> i respect the israeli position and i respect the palestinian position, but i represent constituents in the united states of america. so, what i think about and what i worry about is the u.s. taxpayer dollars, are they being used in the correct way? in this tight and difficult economic times with the unemployment numbers going down, down, down, we really need to think carefully about u.s. funding to outside groups. is this the best use and what are we getting for our money? and look at the u.n.? $7.7 billion, wolf. that's b, billion dollars to the u.n. last year and you have groups like cuba on the human rights council and you had cuba and north korea cheering the committee on disarmament. north korea which is such a proliferator of nuclear arms.
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in iran they stone women to death. so, the days of a free pass and an open checkbook are over. i understand israel may want this funding for the palestinians or or that funding for israel, i'm worried about the u.s. taxpayers and the u.s. philosophy and u.s. principal. let's stand for helping people become free and helping foster democracy but not funding extremist organizations. >> just to be precise on the funding for the united nations, you say the united states is providing about $7 billion a year to the united nations. what number would you like that, the appropriate number to be? >> well, i would like for the funding for the united nations to be changed from a mandatory assessment to a voluntary assessment. what do i mean by that? we get to select which organizations, which committees are working, which we should not fund organizations like durbin three, which is a hate fest for the u.s. and israel.
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we should not fund the committee on the council on human rights. we should not fund all of these councils and committees that really are anti-democracy. we should not fund a palestinian government that is now in cahoots with hamas, hamas wants to destroy israel. i'm not saying no funding for the palestinians ever, i'm saying that if you are in a hybrid government, which it is now, palestinians with hamas, an entity that wants to destroy israel, why should u.s. taxpayer dollars go to the palestinians, tell mahmood abbas to divorce himself from the palestinians. let's take it to programs that work, unicef is a wonderful program, that's funded by voluntary assessment. we have many refugee assistance programs that are funded on a voluntary basis so they work, and it has been proven in the
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past, voluntary assessments is what makes the u.n. reform. but if they're to get our $7.7 billion and not have to change a change, it's going to be business as usual, count on it. >> the chair of the house foreign affairs committee, a powerful committee, thanks congresswoman very much for coming in. we're going to assess what we just heard from you, we're awaiting the president of the united states who's getting ready to address the united nations general assembly, this is the president of brazil, immediately after she completes her remarks, the president of the united states will begin speaking at the u.n. general assembly. we're also following the breaking news out of iran, josh fattal and jason bauer have now been released. our reporters are hoping to find a way to speak to them. much more of the breaking news coverage out of iran as well. the bundler. let's say you need home and auto insurance.
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we're only a few minutes away from the top of the hour, that's when we expect the president of the united states to address the united nations general assembly. the president is expected to speak of a whole bunch of issues. this is the president of brazil speaking. when she's done, the president of the united states will speak. but there's also breaking news we're following here in the cnn newsroom. the dramatic word that those two american hikers are, kyra are
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free. >> we're talking about josh bauer and shane fattal. they have been locked up by iran for two years now and they were convicted of spying, entering the country illegally, but a million dollars bail was paid, $500,000 for each hiker and now we are told that possibly they have walked out of that prison. we want to get to our cnn producer that's there in iran. have you been able to confirm if or not they got into those two cars that got through security and headed up to the gate? >> nobody saw the actual two hikers, but the two cars that went inside the prison to get them out came out with police escort. and so as far as we can tell, it is confirmed that they have been released, been taken by the
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omanis in their car and we're trying to follow them and see if they're going to the airport or going to the swiss ambassador's emba embassy. >> you're now following this entourage of cars, the swiss ambassador and two other cars driven by omanis, possibly with the two american hikers inside those vehicles. >> possibly but it's almost certain because everyone left. >> everyone left the prison? >> everyone left because the omanis when in there to get them out, nobody could see them but everybody's certain that they were in the car. >> all right. and what we have learned, they will go from oman and straight from oman straight back to the united states. please keep us updated.
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once again e that's our producer there in iran. apparently the two american hikers have left that pliz and are in a convoy of sorts right now. headed toward possibly the airport, our cnn producer following that convoy, trying to get a glimpse to see, wolf blitzer if those two american hikers are in those cars headed for home. >> i home they are. all of us hope they are. it's about time, two years, enough time in that iranian prison. kyra, thanks very much. we'll check back with you, meanwhile we're waiting for the president of the united states to begin speaking over at the united nations general assembly, we have got a panel of experts watching what's going on. our own jessica yellin is over at the u.n. the former secretary of state. the former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and our senior political analyst david gergen. you're a former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., you told us what
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the chair of the house foreign affairs committee basically said cut u.s. aid to the united nations and basically cut or eliminate all u.s. aid to the palestinians right now. i wonder what you think about that? >> first i believe that the united nations is important for the united states, the u.n. is very helpful to us, has been on very important issues, such as in afghanistan and i am the ambassador in iraq when i was there. i think we do need the united nations and the united nations needs the united states, but the congresswoman does have a point regard to reforms, there is a lot of resources that get wasted in the u.n. and reforming the u.n. as very difficult and sometimes we do use the leverage of, threat of cut off of resources or delay of giving the resources to bring about reform.
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but what happened with regard to particular decisions that she referred to, iran being on this committee or being on that committee, that's not so much the u.n. as such, that is the membership and really is more of a challenge for our diplomacy and working with others to block some states from taking important positions in the u.n. that is not the u.n. itself, but the organization as such. >> let me just -- i'm going to bring jamey rubin in, but jessica, have you heard any serious discussion from white house officials or obama administration officials at all? they don't want to eliminate u.s. aide to the palestinian authority to the west bank and i don't believe they want to cut u.s. financial contributions to the united nations, but maybe you have more information than i do. >> no, i see this as a nonstarter for them, wolf.
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for the president, the united nations is an important international body and my expectation is what they would say is let's see this play out here before we get to jumping the gun and talking about cutting off aid. they in essence don't see this as coming to a head quite yet, the palestinians are loading the gun, so to speak, by threatening to take this to the security council. but that doesn't mean they necessarily will and there's still a lot of hope that that can be averted and that there are many steps that can be taken to avoid that kind of a confrontation, so there's a lot of hope that there can be other ways to resolve this, and potentially, although it's a great big wish and with some sort of peace notiegotiation starting again. and the idea of cutting off aid is not something this administration is toying with in any way. >> in a time of economic
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hardship, the u.s. economy not in great shape right now, there's enormous pressure to cut spending across the board, foreign aid as you well know has never been very popular with domestic public opinion, so there is a community out there and illiana ross lleyton certainly reflecting that in what you just told us, that you know what? in a time of economic distress, the u.s. should not be sending off this money around to the world. >> i you're absolutely right and with a republican congress and increased support for these kinds of positions, it's tougher and tougher. but this has been going on a long time through republican and democratic administrations. in effect the u.n. is a gigantic mess smess sen ger of world
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opinions. through the united nations, it gets thrown back at us and we see this very visibly here in new york. but the ambassador said that we use the u.n. for american security purposes. we use the united nations as we did in the case of libya to get authority to have nato overthrow moammar gadhafi, we used under president bush the united nations to get authority to invade afghanistan. so the united nations is really a reflection of world opinion and we can worry about it and be frustrated by it, but these specific programs that illiana ross lleyton is talking about, some are frustrating, but in general it serves our interest. i would just add another one point with regard to these two hikers. what we're seeing today is the goal of president ahmadinejad, he arranged for these two people to be released, timing it precisely for his arrival here at the united nations. and so this is going like clock work for him to show the world as he arrives here in new york
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and he gives this speech that he's the moderate. and the really troubling part is he is the moderate. right now ahmadinejad is the moderate in iran. and he wants these hikers to be released on the very day he arrives in new york. so he's getting an excellent victory here. >> let me bring david gergen into this, but the thrill of isolationist move, but there is an increasingly isolationist move, ron paul for example, a republican presidential candidate suggesting you know what? the u.s. spending too much money and when a lot of americans hear that the u.s. is spending $7 billion or $8 billion a year contributing to the united nations, they're saying it's better spent here at home.
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>> we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars on war. and this is an effort to spend money on peace and it's not very big. the republican party has changed a lot in the last few years, wolf, and i'm not quite sure how these leaders of the republican party expect to win the war on terror and to bring peace to the middle east anymore, they argue that the war on terror, many muslims are in arab countries. george w. bush was trying to build democracies and work with the arab people. in the last few days, what we have been hearing are a group of republican leaders who are turning their backs on arab aspirations and the hard part of diplomacy is to protect israel's efforts. to cut off money to the palestinians like that, to cut off money to the west coast bank where the -- netanya taanyahu h wants to provide money to the
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u.s. i don't get this sudden turning on your heel against the arab aspirations and sort of making it one sided. the best republican progress has been made by people like george w. bush senior with jim baker as the secretary of state where they work for a balanced approach, where they work with the arabs and with the israelis to work with progress. >> ambassador, you served in the republican administration to president george w. bush as you point out, u.s. ambassador to the u.n., to iraq, to afghanistan, are you concerned about this isolationist trend? >> i am concerned, i think there is an economic situation worsened, the desire to focus more ahome which to a degree is legitimate, we need to get our economic house in order, but i also agree with david gergen
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that we need to be mindful that there's a struggle going on for the middle east along the muslims and the extremists, jihadists are a product of the frustrations and failures of the countries of the area and one of the factors that contributes to that dysfunctionality of that region that produces extremism is the ongoing israeli problem. it's served our interests, it served israeli interests for us to be able to influence in the region and to encourage moderation and therefore to be engaged and to work for a settlement of the conflict between the israelis and the palestinians. coming home is not an option, the world is too interconnected for us to come home america be our slogan. >> a good point. thanks very much. i want to play two clips right now as we await the president of the united states. and then i want to discuss what
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we're about to hear. rick perry, the republican presidential front-runner right now, he met with jewish leaders here in new york yesterday and he said this. listen. >> we're equally indignant of the obama administration and their middle east policy of appeasement that has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith. simply put, we would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the obama policy in the middle east wasn't naive, and arrogant, misguided and dangerous. >> you just heard rick perry accusing the obama administration of appeasements. a strong word with a lot of history there. ahud barack was in an exchange
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with piers morgan last night. >> i will tell you that the obama is making the security of israel for which i'm responsible in our government in a way that could hardly be compared to any previous administration. >> is barack obama in your view, and you're very experienced in this. is he a friend of israel? >> i this first he is the president of america, he is friendly to israel's security related issues, he's also trying to be even handed with the palestinians. i don't think he's part of the problem, he's part of the solution. >> a nice vote of confidence from the president of the united states from the israeli defense minister. david gergen, as you.
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>> there could be. >> the arrogant and misguided. the question for you, david, as someone who has worked for four presidents, is it proecht at a sensitive diplomatic moment like that, for a politician to come to new york and effectively undermine the president of the united states. >> wolf, ten years ago, 20 years ago, it would have been totally inappropriate, because there were sort of rules of etiquette. you didn't upstage him just before he went to the u.n. you didn't throw a hand grenade in the middle of such a delicate situation. all the rules of politics. >> now you see that the
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president of the united states is seated there in the united nations general assembly, he's been introduced to the general assembly. we expect they'll at he'll be sg for maybe a half an hour, maybe a little bit longer, but he'll be talking about the whole world, libya, syria, everything around the world, u.s. involvement. so let's listen to the president right now. >> mr. president, mr. secretary general, fellow delegates. ladies and gentlemen. it is a great honor for me to be here with you today, i want to talk about a subject that is at the heart of the united nations. the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.
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war and conflict have been with us since the beginning of civilizations. but in the first part of the 20th century, the advance of modern weaponry led to death on a staggering scale. it was this killing that compelled the founders of this body to build an institution that was focused not just on ending one war, but on averting others. a union of sovereign states that would seek to prevent conflict while also addressing it's causes. no american did more to pursue this objective than president franklin roosevelt. he knew that a victory in war was not enough. as he said at one of the very first meetings on the founding of the united nations, we have got to make not merely peace, but a peace that will last.
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the men and women who built this institution understood that peace is more than just the absence of war. a lasting peace, for nations, and for individuals. depends on a sense of justice and opportunity, of dignity, and freedom. it depends on struggle, on sacrifice, on compromise, and on a sense of common humanity. one delegate to the san francisco conference that led to the creation of the united nations put it well. many people, she said, have talked as if all that has to be done to get peace was to say loudly and frequently that we love peace and we hated war.
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now we have learned that no matter how much we love peace and hate war, we cannot avoid having war brought upon us if there are convulsions in other parts of the world. the fact is, peace is hard. but our people demand it. over nearly seven decades, even as the united nations helped avert a third world war, we still live in a world sarcarredy conflict and plagued by poverty. even as we proclaim our love for peace and our hatred of war, there are still convulsions in our world that endanger us all. i took office at a time of two wars for the united states. more over the violent extremists who drew us into war in the
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first place osama bin laden, his al qaeda organization remained at large. today we have set a new direction. at the end of this year, america's military operation in iraq will be over. we will have a normal relationship with a sovereign nation that is a member of the community of nations. that equal partnership will be strengthened by our support for iraq, for its government, and for its security forces, for its people, and for their aspirations. as we end the war in iraq, the united states and our coalition partners have begun a transition in afghanistan, which we now in 2014, an increasingly capable afghan government and security forces will step forward to take responsibility for the future of their country. as they do, we are drawing down
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our own forces while building an enduring partnership with the afghan people. so let there be no doubt, the tide of war is receding. when i took office roughly 180,000 americans were serving in iraq and afghanistan. by the end of this year, that number will be cut in half and will continue to decline. this is critical for the sovereignty of iraq and afghanistan, and it's also critical to the sovereignty of the united states as we build our nation at home. moreover we are poised to end this war from a position of strength. ten years ago there was an open wound and twisted steel, a broken heart in the center of this city. today as a new tower is rising
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at ground zero, it symbolizes new york's renewal, even as al qaeda is under more pressure than ever before. it's leadership has been degraded. osama bin laden, a man who murdered thousands of people from dozens of countries will never endanger the peace of the world again. yes, this has been a difficult decade. but today, we stand at a crossroads of history with a chance to move decisively in the direction of peace. to do so, we must return to the wisdom of those who created this institution. the united nations founding charter calls upon us to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security. and article 1 of this general assembly's universal declaration of human rights, reminds us that
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all human beings are born equal in human rights. those bedrock beliefs in the responsibility of states and the rights of men and women must be our guide. and in that effort, we have reason to hope. this year has been a time of extraordinary transformation. more nations have stepped forward to maintain international peace and security. and more individuals are claiming their universal right to live in freedom and dignity. think about it. one year ago, when we met here in new york, the prospect of a successful referendum in south sudan was in doubt. but the international community overcame old divisions to support the agreement that had been negotiated to give south sudan self-determination.
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and last summer, as a new flag went up in juma, former soldiers laid down their arms, men and women went with joy and children finally knew the promise of looking to a future that they will shape. one year ago, the people of potowa, approached a landmark election and when the incumbent lost and refused to respect the results, the world looked the other way. u.n. peacekeepers were harassed, but they did not leave their posts. the united states and nigeria and france came together to -- the will of the people. one year ago the hopes of the people of tunisia were
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suppressed. but they chose the dignity of the peaceful protests over the rule of an iron fist. a bender lit a spark that took his own life. but he ignited a movement in the face of a crackdown, students spelled out the word freedom. the balance of fear shifted from the ruler to those that he ruled. and now the people of tunisia are preparing for elections that will move them one step closer to the democracy that they deserve. one year ago, egypt had known one president for nearly 30 years. but for 18 days, the eyes of the world were glued to tahrir square, where egyptians from all walks of life, men and women, young and old, muslim and christian, demanded their universal rights.
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we saw in those protesters the moral force of nonviolence that has left the world from deli to south africa. and we knew that change had come to egypt and the arab world. one year ago, the people of libya were ruled by the world's longest serving dictator. but faced with bullets and bombs and a dictator who threatened to hunt them down like rats, they showed relentless bravery. we will never forget the words of the libyan who stood up in those early days of revolution and said, our words are free now. it's a feeling you can't explain. day after day in the face of bullets and bombs, the libyan people refused to give back that freedom and when they were threatened by the kind of mass
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atrocity that often went unchallenged in the last century, the united nations lived up to its charter. the security council authorized all necessary measures to prevent a massacre. the arab league called for this effort, arab nations joined a nato led coalition that halted gadhafi's forces in their tracks. in the months that followed, the will of the coalition proved unbreakable. and the will of the libyan people could not be denied. 42 years of tierny was ended in six months. from tripoli to misrata to benghazi are free. yesterday leaders of a new libya took their place beside us. and this week the under the circumstances is reopening their embassy in tripoli.
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this is how the international community is supposed to work. nations standing together for peace and security and individuals claiming their rights. now all of us have a responsibility to support the new libya, the new libyan government as they confront the challenge of turning this moment of promise into a just and lasting peace for all libyans. so this has been a remarkable year. the gadhafi regime is over. ben ali, mubarak, are no longer in power. osama bin laden is gone and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him. something's happening in our world.
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the way things have been is not the way that they will be. the humiliating grip of corruption and tierny is being pried open, dictators are on notice, technology is putting power into the hands of the people. the youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictator ship and rejecting the lie that some races, some peoples, some religions, some ethnicities do not desire democracy. the promise written down on paper, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, is closer at hand. but let us remember peace is hard. peace is hard. progress can be reversed. prosperity comes slowly.
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societies can split apart. the measure of our success must be weather people can live in sustained freedom, dignity and security. and the united nations and its member states must do their part to support those basic aspirations and we have more work to do. in iran, we have seen a government that refuses to recognize the rights of its own people. as we meet here today, men, women and children are being or tortured, detained and murdered by the syrian regime. thousands have been killed, many during the holy time of ramadan. thousands more have poured across syria's borders. the syrian people have shown bigibig i dignity in their pursuit of justice, protesting peacefully,
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standing silently in the streets, dying for the same values this especially tuinstit supposed to stand for. the question for us is real, will we stand with the syrian people or with their oppressors? already the united states has him posed strong sanctions on syria's leaders. we supported a transfer of power that was the response to the syrian people. and many of our allies have joined in this effort, but for the mistake of syria, and the peace and security of the world, we must speak with one voice. there's no excuse for inaction. now is the time for the united nations security council to sanction the syrian regime and to stand with the syrian people. throughout the region, we will have to respond to the calls for change. in yemen, men, women and
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children gathered by the,sant s thousands, with the hope that determination and spilled blood will prevail for a corrupt system. america supports those aspirations. we must work with yemen's names to seek a path that allows a transfer of power and a movement to free and fair elections as soon as possible. and bahrain, steps have been taken toward reform and accountability. we're pleased with that, but more is required. america is a close friend of bahrain and we will continue to call on the government and the main opposition block that we've got to pursue a meaningful dialogue that brings peace and change that is responsive to the people. we believe the patriotism that binds bahrain together needs to be more powerful than the sectarian forces that will tear them apart. it will be hard, but it is possible.
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we believe that each nation must chart it's own course to fulfill the aspirations of its people and america does not expect to agree with every party or person who expresses themselves politically. but we will always stand up for the universal rights that we're embraced by this assembly. those rights depend on elections that are free and fair. on governance that is transparent and accountable. respect for the rights of women and minorities. justice that is equal and fair. that is what our people deserve. those are the elements of peace that can last. moreover, the united states will continue to support those nations that transition to democracy. with greater trade and investment. so that freedom is followed by opportunity. we will pursue a deeper
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engagement with governance, but also with civil societies, students and entrepreneurs, political parties and the press. we have banned those who abuse human rights from traveling to our country. we sanctioned those who trampleal trample on human rights abroad and we will always serve as a voice for those who have been silenced. now, i know particularly this week that for many in this home, there's one issue that stands as a test for these principles. and a test for american foreign policy, and as the conflict between the israelis and the palestinians. one year ago, i stood at this podium and i called for an independent palestine. i believed then and i believe now that the palestinian people deserve a state of their own.
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but what i also said is that a genuine peace can only be realized by the israelis and the palestinians themselves. one year later, the parties have not bridged their differences. faced with this stalemate, i put forward a new base for negotiations in may of this year. that basis is clear, it's well known to all of us here. israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state. now i know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress, i assure you, so am i.
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but the question isn't the goal that we seek, the question is how do we reach that goal? and i am convinced that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades, peace is hard work. peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the united nations, if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. ultimately, it is the israelis and the palestinians who must live side by side. ultimately, it's the israelis and the palestinians, not us who must reach agreement on issues that divide them, on borders and on security, on refugees and jerusalem. ultimately peace depends upon compromise, among people who must live together long after our speeches are over.
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long after our votes have been tallied. that's the lesson of northern ireland, where ancient ing antagonists bridged their differences. that's the goal of sudan where it led to an independent state. and that will be the path to a palestinian state. negotiations between the parties. we seek a future where palestinians live in a solve republic sovereign state of their own, with no limit to what they can achieve. there's no question that the palestinians have seen that vision delayed for too long, it is precisely because we believe in the aspirations of the palestinian people that america has invested so much time and so much effort in the building of a palestinian state and the negotiations that can deliver a palestinian state.
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but understand this as well. america's commitment to israel's security is unshakable. our friendship with israel is deep and enduring. let us be honest with ourselves. israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against them. israels ste s citizens have bee killed. israel's children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. israel, a small country of less than 8 million people look out at a world where leaders of much
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larger nations threaten to wipe it off the map. the jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that 6 million people were killed simply because of who they are. those are facts. they cannot be denied. the jewish people have forced a successful state in their historic homeland. israel deserves recognition, it deserves normal relations with its neighbors and friends of the palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of israel must recognize the need to pursue a two state solution with a secure israel next to an independent palestine. that is the truth. each side has legitimate aspirations. and that's part of what makes peace so hard and the deadlock will only be broken when each
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side learns to stand in the other's shoes. each side can see the world through the other's eyes. that's what we should be encouraging. that's what we should be promoting. this body, founded as it was out of the ashes of war and genocide, dedicated as it is to the dignity of every single person must recognize the reality that is lived by both the palestinians and the isra i israelis. the measure of our actions must always be whether they advance the right of israeli and palestinian children to live lives of peace and security and dignity and opportunity. and we will only succeed in that effort if we can encourage the parties to sit down, to listen to each other, and to understand each other's hopes and each
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other's fears. that is the project to which america's committed. >> there are no shortcuts. and that is what the united nations should be focused on in the weeks and months to come. now, even as we confront these challenges of conflict and revolution, we must also recognize we must also remind ourselves that peace is not just the absence of war. true peace depends on creating the opportunity that makes life worth living. and to do that, we must confront the common enemies of humanity. nuclear weapons and poverty. ignorance and disease. these forces corrode the possibility of lasting peace.
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and together, we're called upon to confront them. to lift the specter of mass destruction, we must come together to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. over the last two years, we have begun to walk down that path. since our nuclear security summit in washington, nearly 50 nations have taken steps to secure nuclear materials from terrorists and smugglers. next march, a summit in seoul will advance our efforts to lock down all of them. the knew s.t.a.r.t. treaty between the united states and russia will cut our deployed arsenals to the lowest levels in half a century, and our nations are in talks about how to achieve deeper reductions. he america will call for a ban on
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nuclear materials and the fissile materials they need to make them. so we have begun to move in the right direction and the united states is committed to meet our obligations, but even as we meet our obligations, we have strengthened the treaties and institutions that help stop these weapons. we continue to hold accountable those nations that flood them. iranian government cannot demonstrate that it's program is peaceful, it has not met it's obligations and it rejects offers that would provide it with peaceful nuclear power. north korea has yet to take concrete steps towards abandoning its weapons and continue s belligerent action against the south. there are opportunities for the people of these nations if their governments meet their international obligations. but if they continue down a path that is outside international
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law, they must be met with greater pressure and isolation. that is what our commitment to peace and security demands. to bring prosperity to our people, we must promote the growth that creates opportunity. in this effort, let us not forget that we have made enormous progress over the last several decades, closed societies gave way to open markets, innovation and entrepreneur ship has trang transformed the way that we live and the things that we do. emerging economies have lifted hundreds of millions of people from poverty. it's an extraordinary achievement. and yet two years ago we were confronted with the worst financial crisis in eight decades and that crisis proved a fact that has become clear with each passing year. our fates are interconnected and in a global economy nations will rise or fall together.
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today we confront the challenges that have followed on the heels of that crisis. around the world, recovery is still fragile. markets remain volatile. too many people are out of work. too many others are struggling just to get by. we acted together to avert a depression in 2009. we must take urgent and coordinated action once more. here in the united states, i have announced a plan to put americans back to work and jump-start our economy. at the same time as i'm committed to substantially reducing our deficits over time. we stand with our european allies as they reshape their institutions and address their own fiscal challenges. for other countries, leaders face a different challenge as they shift their economy toward more self-reliance, boosting
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domestic demand while slowing inflation, so we will work with emerging economies that will rebounded strongly so that we may create new markets that create global growth. that's what our commitment to prosperity demands. to combat the poverty that punished our children, we must act on the belief that freedom from want is a basic human right. the united states has made it a focus of our engagement abroad to help people to feed themselves and today as drought and conflict have brought famine to the heart of africa, our conscience calls on us to act, together we must continue to provide assistance and support organizations that can reach those in need. and together, we must insist on unrestricted humanitarian access so that we can save the lives of thousands of men and women and children.
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our common humanity is at stake. let us show that the life of a child in somalia is as precious as any other. that is what our commitment to our fellow human beings demand. to stop disease that spreads across borders we must strengthen our system of public health. we will continue the fight against hiv aids, tuberculosis and malaria, we will focus on the health of mothers and of children. and we must come together to prevent and detect and fight every kind of biological danger, whether it's a pandemic like h 1rks n 1r 1 n 1. today i urge all nations to join us in meeting hoo's goal of
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making sure all nations have capacities to address public health emergencies in place by 2012. that is what our commitment to the health of our people demands. to preserve our planet, we must not put off action that climate change demands. we have to tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. and together we must continue our work to built on the progress made in copenhagen and cancun so that all the major economies here today followthrough on the commitments that were made. together we must work to transform the energy that powers our economies and support others as they move down that path. that is what our commitment to the next generation demands. and to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must
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allow our citizens to reach theirs. no country can afford the corruption that plagues the world like a cancer. together we must harness the power of open societies and open economies. that's why we have partnered with countries from across the globe to launch a new partnership on open government that helps ensure accountability and helps to empower citizens. no country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere. and no country can realize it's potential if half its population cannot reach theirs. this week, the united states signed a new declaration on
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women's participation, next year we should each announce the steps we are taking to break down the economic and political barriers that stand in the way of women and girls. this is what our commitment to human progress demands. i know there's no straight line to that progress, no single path to success. we come from different cultures and carry with us different histories. but let us never forget that even as we gather here as heads of different governments, we represent citizens who share the same basic aspirations. to live with dignity and freedom. to get an education and pursue opportunity. to love our families, and love and worship our god. to live in the kind of peace that makes life worth living.
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it is the nature of our imperfect world that we are forced to learn these lessons over and over again. conflict and repression will endure so long as some people do unto others as we would have them do unto us. that is precisely why we have built institutions like this, to bind our fates together. to help us recognize ourselves in each other. because those who came before us believed that peace is preferable to war and freedom is preferable to repression and prosperity is preferable to poverty. that's the message that comes not from capitols but from citizens, our people. when the corner stone of this very building was put in place, president truman came here to new york and said, the united nations is essentially an expression of the moral nature
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of man's aspirations. the moral nature of man's aspirations. as we live in a world that is changing at a breathtaking pace. that's a lesson that we must never forget. peace is hard but we know that it is possible. so together, let us be resolved to see that it is defined by our hopes and not by our fears. together let us make peace, but a peace most importantly that will last. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> the president of the united states addressing the united nations general assembly, addressing a whole range of international issues, but the biggest single part of the speech involving the israeli-palestinian conflict, once again, saying the united states supports the creation of
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a palestinian state, a palestinian state living alongside israel, but that state should come about through negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians, not the president says through any shortcut that would end this conflict by a united nations resolution or some sort of statement. there's a lot to assess from what we just heard from the president, he's getting ready to have separate meetings with benjamin netanyahu. we'll watch the president begin to leave, we'll take a quick break, we'll assess an outstanding panel of experts who are all here in the cnn newsroom. the former assistant secretary of state, our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin and our senior political analyst david gergen. they're standing by, we'll be right back. and thought and said:
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yellin, jamey rubin, he's in new york, the former ambassador to the united nations and long side me david gergen, our senior political analyst, an advisor to four u.s. presidents. it was very much as we expected jessica, did you hear any major bombshell news out of the president as far as dealing with the israeli palestinian conflict? >> well the headline i heard on that issue, wolf, was his remarkably full tloehroated endorsement of not just israel, but the jewish people of israel, using language that american jewish voters, democratic jewish voters have been calling on the president to use for some time, describing israel as a nation surrounded by neighbors that have waged wars against it, calling israel a country that looks out surrounded by nations that threaten to wipe it off the map, even referencing the holocaust, these are the winds
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of words and language that many of these jewish voters that you and i have talked about for some time. we heard it from the president, we heard it in this room. no doubt, there are some areas of supporter. who has -- in the leadup to this event who believe that the president's rhetoric on freedom and the speech he gave in cairo standing up for all peoples in the middle east, has set up expectations that seem very much at odds with the reality of the peace process that has fallen through for the palestinians to date. and so i wouldn't be surprised if there's some frustration on the arab side with these very words, but to me that lang was striking, wolf. >> you heard that very robust statement of support for israel, from the president, you didn't hear any condemnation of the israeli military occupation or israeli occupation practices in
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the west bank or what's happening in gaza, jessica suggests the arabs might react negatively to that imbalance, is that a problem? >> i do think it's a problem, this was as you said before hand, wolf, this had two audiences with the republican politicians coming to new york and saying he was somehow anti-israel, i think it was certainly part of the president's challenge to show a full throated defense, not just of our commitment to israel, but an understanding of the plight of jews and israelis in the world. he did that very well. what i think was missing was he didn't explain the plight of palestinians, who have been waiting for their 40 years for their state and although he was very eloquent about the arab spring, it was almost as an observer, the united states as an observer of all these events
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pointing out how great they were, and the peace that therefore was missing was the palestinians see themselves as a people who want their self-determination, their fleem, and i think the way he could have done that was something that should be done more and more is basically pointing out that the palestinians have an engaged in large scale peaceful protests the way that peoples in tunisia and egypt and initially in libya did. and he could have tied it together in that way. but it was a political speech both in terms of pulling our troops out of afghanistan and iraq, and getting bin laden, and meeting the israeli test and i think he never really made the argument for why we're going to veto the resolution on the palestinian state, and i think that piece of it was absent. . that point being the only way a palestinian state can be created is if it's through negotiations
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directly by the israelis and the palestinians not through any united nations resolution. let me go to the ambassador, what did you think, ambassador? >> i think as jamey said, it was a speech especially with regard to the middle east as well as focused on the coming election in the united states. and there was a missed opportunity in my judgment, although i was positive about the changes in the arab world because of arab spring, there was no plan, no initiative put forward as to how to make these changes lead to a democratic consolidation in the arab world. there's great danger that these changes have taken place, democracy is not really assured. there's a danger of chaos, of
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liberal democratic forces not getting organized in time, the economy not performing, so i thought it was a little too positive and not enough attention to the risks associated with these changes and what the united states and the world ought to do. i think it was a little too positive in another sense from a u.s. perspective, because over the past couple of years, our relations and our standing in the region has declined. we have worse relations now than we did before with all the major players in the region, our relation with israel is much weaker than it was. the president can be in part blamed for some of his tactics, our relations with egypt is much weaker than it was two years ago and the same applies to saudi arabia. so i think this was a focussed on the domestic audience here in the united states and a bit of
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positive situation that is rather difficult nug the problem we're confronting, either allowing the resolution to go forward which would be bad for strategic interests with israel which would be bad for the arab world. >> david, did you see this primarily as a political speech by the president or substantive global address. >> it definitely had strong political overtones for a domestic audience. but what i thought, we're seeing a very different president from what we have often seen in his middle east speeches. cairo, he had a sweeping process about how we're going to transform relations in the arab world with the u.s. in other speeches, he's made promises, we're going to have a deal between the palestinians and the israelis, they have been the bold apicture rational speeches in which he has made a lot of promises. this time he pulled back from all of that. this time there were no promises, there were no plans, there were no hard actions the
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united states was going to take. there was nothing very specific. it was almost as if he was above and sort of lofty, almost in a passive way about what's going on in the middle east, some would say he's being realistic, it's clear, he's extremely frustrated and the theme of the speech, the headline of the speech is peace is hard. peace is hard. >> i know that many people are frustrated by the lack of progress in the middle east, i assure you so am i, i want to thank everyone for watching, we're going to continue to cover all of this throughout the day, i'll what back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." i'll be reporting from the united nations. we'll take a quick break, stay with cnn, our coverage continues with suzanne malveaux in the muse room, right after this. when an investment lacks discipline,

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